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Production of Spain's Dragón IFV begins

Production of the Dragón 8×8 IFV has begun at GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas. (Spanish MoD)

Production of the Dragón 8×8 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) began at General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)-Santa Bárbara Sistemas with the cutting of the first armour steel plate for the vehicle at the Trubia factory, the company announced on its website on 17 December.

The company said the first vehicles would be available during the second semester of 2022. GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas told Janes on 20 December that the first production vehicles would be the combat engineering version. The Spanish Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 29 November that seven Dragón IFVs would be delivered in 2022.

GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas managing director Juan Escriña said during the steel-cutting ceremony that the vehicle “represents not only new capabilities and better protection for our soldiers but also a very significant technological leap. It must serve us as a lever for transformation”.

GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas said Trubia factory is already prepared to house the manufacturing process for the vehicles with machining, cutting, painting, and assembly workshops, as well as welding robotisation and precision machining facilities. The company is investing more than EUR14 million (USD15.8 million) in the Trubia factory in 2020–23, a large amount of which will go directly to the manufacture of the Dragón.

As a first phase of the programme, 348 IFVs will be produced until 2027, involving the Tess Defence consortium formed by GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas, Indra Sistemas, Sapa Operaciones, and Escribano Mechanical & Engineering.

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